Throughout the ODI World Cup 2023, despite battling a chronic heel issue, emerged as the highest wicket-taker for India, undergoing the tournament with the aid of pain injections.

Mohammed Shami, absent for the initial four matches of the ODI World Cup 2023 in India, made a resounding return, strengthening the team’s journey to the final. Despite battling a persistent heel issue, Shami notably secured 24 wickets in seven matches, averaging 10.70 with an impressive strike rate of 12.20.

Reports unveiled Shami’s remarkable feat, playing through pain by regularly receiving injections to manage his chronic heel condition throughout the tournament. According to an unnamed former Bengal teammate quoted by news agency PTI, Shami’s determination remained unseen, as he valiantly navigated the tournament’s challenges.

“Shami has a chronic left heel issue. A lot of people don’t know that he took injections regularly during the World Cup and played the entire tournament through pain. But you must understand that as you grow older, recovery from each niggle or big injury takes that more time,” former Bengal teammate of Shami was quoted as saying.

Shami missed the first four World Cup matches due to India’s selection of all-rounder Shardul Thakur at No 8. However, an injury to Hardik Pandya led to Suryakumar Yadav and Shami’s inclusion. Shami emerged as the top wicket-taker in the tournament, surpassing Australia’s Adam Zampa with 23 wickets.

His absence was felt in India’s Test against South Africa, resulting in a 1-0 series deficit. With Praisdh Krishna and Shardul Thakur replacing Bumrah and Siraj as change bowlers, India lacked adequate support for new-ball bowlers, contributing to their innings defeat against the Proteas in just three days.

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Last Updated on December 30, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter